Keen to (legally) try out Microsoft's latest build of Windows Vista to see how it's all shaping up? Well at the moment you can! In fact, this is the final build to have been produced before the first release candidate version surfaces in the near future, which means it should be a fairly accurate representation of the final product.
The download weighs a hefty 2.58GB and is found over at this section of MS's website.
This page includes information to help you download the Windows Vista pre-RC1 ISO file. This pre-RC1 build is available for a limited time - we will close the program when we reach 100,000 downloads.
After downloading, please install and test the build as soon as possible. Most importantly, if there is a crash, hang, or error - please make sure that you send the information back to us using the built-in Windows Error Reporting technology (a dialog box will display automatically). Sending this information is essential to helping us improve the overall quality of Windows Vista - and collecting this information is the primary purpose of distributing this pre-RC1 release.
Furthermore, final pricing has (accidently) surfaced on the various boxed versions of Vista once it hits shelves in Q1 next year. ZDNet have the supposed figures.
It looks like Microsoft has accidentally leaked some details of the price of its next-generation operating system. At least for customers who live in the Great Frozen North.
The Retail Pricing page at Microsoft Canada lets you choose a product name from a dropdown list and see the current pricing. Surprise! It includes a slew of SKUs for Windows Vista. (Update 28-Aug 8:00AM PDT: Well, that was fast! The Canadian price list I viewed earlier this morning appears to have been taken down, probably to remove the Vista SKUs. That makes the information even more interesting. Oh, and be sure to see my note at the end of this post on the pitfalls of using currency conversions to compare prices in different markets.) The following prices are all in Canadian dollars, and for comparison's sake I've included the retail prices of current versions of Windows XP